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Lower Limb Gait Simulator Based on a Pure External Force

Description

For the past two decades, advanced Limb Gait Simulators and Exoskeletons have been developed to improve walking rehabilitation. A Limb Gait Simulator is used to analyze the human step cycle and/or assist a user walking on a treadmill. Most modern

For the past two decades, advanced Limb Gait Simulators and Exoskeletons have been developed to improve walking rehabilitation. A Limb Gait Simulator is used to analyze the human step cycle and/or assist a user walking on a treadmill. Most modern limb gait simulators, such as ALEX, have proven themselves effective and reliable through their usage of motors, springs, cables, elastics, pneumatics and reaction loads. These mechanisms apply internal forces and reaction loads to the body. On the other hand, external forces are those caused by an external agent outside the system such as air, water, or magnets. A design for an exoskeleton using external forces has seldom been attempted by researchers. This thesis project focuses on the development of a Limb Gait Simulator based on a Pure External Force and has proven its effectiveness in generating torque on the human leg. The external force is generated through air propulsion using an Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) motor. Such a motor is typically used for remote control airplanes, but their applications can go beyond this. The objective of this research is to generate torque on the human leg through the control of the EDF engines thrust and the opening/closing of the reverse thruster flaps. This device qualifies as "assist as needed"; the user is entirely in control of how much assistance he or she may want. Static thrust values for the EDF engine are recorded using a thrust test stand. The product of the thrust (N) and the distance on the thigh (m) is the resulting torque. With the motor running at maximum RPM, the highest torque value reached was that of 3.93 (Nm). The motor EDF motor is powered by a 6S 5000 mAh LiPo battery. This torque value could be increased with the usage of a second battery connected in series, but this comes at a price. The designed limb gait simulator demonstrates that external forces, such as air, could have potential in the development of future rehabilitation devices.

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Date Created
2016-12

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Exoskeletal Hand Fixture for use with Tool Balancing arm for Packing/Warehouse Applications

Description

Many industries require workers in warehouse and stockroom environments to perform frequent lifting tasks. Over time these repeated tasks can lead to excess strain on the worker's body and reduced productivity. This project seeks to develop an exoskeletal wrist fixture

Many industries require workers in warehouse and stockroom environments to perform frequent lifting tasks. Over time these repeated tasks can lead to excess strain on the worker's body and reduced productivity. This project seeks to develop an exoskeletal wrist fixture to be used in conjunction with a powered exoskeleton arm to aid workers performing box lifting types of tasks. Existing products aimed at improving worker comfort and productivity typically employ either fully powered exoskeleton suits or utilize minimally powered spring arms and/or fixtures. These designs either reduce stress to the user's body through powered arms and grippers operated via handheld controls which have limited functionality, or they use a more minimal setup that reduces some load, but exposes the user's hands and wrists to injury by directing support to the forearm. The design proposed here seeks to strike a balance between size, weight, and power requirements and also proposes a novel wrist exoskeleton design which minimizes stress on the user's wrists by directly interfacing with the object to be picked up. The design of the wrist exoskeleton was approached through initially selecting degrees of freedom and a ROM (range of motion) to accommodate. Feel and functionality were improved through an iterative prototyping process which yielded two primary designs. A novel "clip-in" method was proposed to allow the user to easily attach and detach from the exoskeleton. Designs utilized a contact surface intended to be used with dry fibrillary adhesives to maximize exoskeleton grip. Two final designs, which used two pivots in opposite kinematic order, were constructed and tested to determine the best kinematic layout. The best design had two prototypes created to be worn with passive test arms that attached to the user though a specially designed belt.

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2016-12

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Human computer interface using electroencephalography

Description

Brain Computer Interfaces are becoming the next generation controllers not only in the medical devices for disabled individuals but also in the gaming and entertainment industries. In order to build an effective Brain Computer Interface, which accurately translates the user

Brain Computer Interfaces are becoming the next generation controllers not only in the medical devices for disabled individuals but also in the gaming and entertainment industries. In order to build an effective Brain Computer Interface, which accurately translates the user thoughts into machine commands, it is important to have robust and fail proof signal processing and machine learning modules which operate on the raw EEG signals and estimate the current thought of the user.

In this thesis, several techniques used to perform EEG signal pre-processing, feature extraction and signal classification have been discussed, implemented, validated and verified; efficient supervised machine learning models, for the EEG motor imagery signal classification are identified. To further improve the performance of system unsupervised feature learning techniques have been investigated by pre-training the Deep Learning models. Use of pre-training stacked autoencoders have been proposed to solve the problems caused by random initialization of weights in neural networks.

Motor Imagery (imaginary hand and leg movements) signals are acquire using the Emotiv EEG headset. Different kinds of features like mean signal, band powers, RMS of the signal have been extracted and supplied to the machine learning (ML) stage, wherein, several ML techniques like LDA, KNN, SVM, Logistic regression and Neural Networks are applied and validated. During the validation phase the performances of various techniques are compared and some important observations are reported. Further, deep Learning techniques like autoencoding have been used to perform unsupervised feature learning. The reliability of the features is analyzed by performing classification by using the ML techniques mentioned earlier. The performance of the neural networks has been further improved by pre-training the network in an unsupervised fashion using stacked autoencoders and supplying the stacked autoencoders’ network parameters as initial parameters to the neural network. All the findings in this research, during each phase (pre-processing, feature extraction, classification) are directly relevant and can be used by the BCI research community for building motor imagery based BCI applications.

Additionally, this thesis attempts to develop, test, and compare the performance of an alternative method for classifying human driving behavior. This thesis proposes the use of driver affective states to know the driving behavior. The purpose of this part of the thesis was to classify the EEG data collected from several subjects while driving simulated vehicle and compare the classification results with those obtained by classifying the driving behavior using vehicle parameters collected simultaneously from all the subjects. The objective here is to see if the drivers’ mental state is reflected in his driving behavior.

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Date Created
2015

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Phase oscillator

Description

A control method based on the phase angle is used to control oscillating systems. The phase oscillator uses the sine and cosine of the phase angle to change key properties of a mass-spring-damper system, including amplitude, frequency, and equilibrium. An

A control method based on the phase angle is used to control oscillating systems. The phase oscillator uses the sine and cosine of the phase angle to change key properties of a mass-spring-damper system, including amplitude, frequency, and equilibrium. An inverted pendulum is used to show a further application of the phase oscillator. Two methods of control based on the phase oscillator are used for swing-up and balancing of the pendulum. The first control method involves two separate stages. The scenarios where this control works are discussed. The second control method uses variable coefficients to result in a smooth transition between swing-up and balancing.

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Date Created
2015

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Sensor Development for Physiological and Environmental Monitoring

Description

The sensor industry is a growing industry that has been predicted by Allied Market Research to be a multi-billion industry by 2022. One of the many key drives behind this rapid growth in the sensor industry is the increase

The sensor industry is a growing industry that has been predicted by Allied Market Research to be a multi-billion industry by 2022. One of the many key drives behind this rapid growth in the sensor industry is the increase incorporation of sensors into portable electrical devices. The value for sensor technologies are increased when the sensors are developed into innovative measuring system for application uses in the Aerospace, Defense, and Healthcare industries. While sensors are not new, their increased performance, size reduction, and decrease in cost has opened the door for innovative sensor combination for portable devices that could be worn or easily moved around. With this opportunity for further development of sensor use through concept engineering development, three concept projects for possible innovative portable devices was undertaken in this research. One project was the development of a pulse oximeter devise with fingerprint recognition. The second project was prototyping a portable Bluetooth strain gage monitoring system. The third project involved sensors being incorporated onto flexible printed circuit board (PCB) for improved comfort of wearable devices. All these systems were successfully tested in lab.

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Date Created
2018

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Design of Suction Stabilized Floats for First Responder Localization via Ultra-Wideband (UWB) and Internet of Things (IoT)

Description

Suction stabilized floats have been implemented into a variety of applications such as supporting wind turbines in off-shore wind farms and for stabilizing cargo ships. This thesis proposes an alternative use for the technology in creating a system of suction

Suction stabilized floats have been implemented into a variety of applications such as supporting wind turbines in off-shore wind farms and for stabilizing cargo ships. This thesis proposes an alternative use for the technology in creating a system of suction stabilized floats equipped with real time location modules to help first responders establish a localized coordinate system to assist in rescues. The floats create a stabilized platform for each anchor module due to the inverse slack tank effect established by the inner water chamber. The design of the float has also been proven to be stable in most cases of amplitudes and frequencies ranging from 0 to 100 except for when the frequency ranges from 23 to 60 Hz for almost all values of the amplitude. The modules in the system form a coordinate grid based off the anchors that can track the location of a tag module within the range of the system using ultra-wideband communications. This method of location identification allows responders to use the system in GPS denied environments. The system can be accessed through an Android app with Bluetooth communications in close ranges or through internet of things (IoT) using a module as a listener, a Raspberry Pi and an internet source. The system has proven to identify the location of the tag in moderate ranges with an approximate accuracy of the tag location being 15 cm.

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Date Created
2020

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Design and Analysis of Auto-parametrically Excited Platform for Active Vibration Control

Description

Recent research and study have showed the potential of auto-parametric system in controlling stability and parametric resonance. In this project, two different designs for auto-parametrically excited mass-spring-damper systems were studied. The theoretical models were developed to describe the behavior of

Recent research and study have showed the potential of auto-parametric system in controlling stability and parametric resonance. In this project, two different designs for auto-parametrically excited mass-spring-damper systems were studied. The theoretical models were developed to describe the behavior of the systems, and simulation models were constructed to validate the analytical results. The error between simulation and theoretical results was within 2%. Both theoretical and simulation results showed that the implementation of auto-parametric system could help reduce or amplify the resonance significantly.

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Date Created
2018

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Model Driven Design Optimization and Gait Selection of Compliant Foldable Robots

Description

This dissertation studies the methods to enhance the performance of foldable robots manufactured by laminated techniques. This class of robots are unique in their manufacturing process, which involves cutting and staking up thin layers of different materials with various

This dissertation studies the methods to enhance the performance of foldable robots manufactured by laminated techniques. This class of robots are unique in their manufacturing process, which involves cutting and staking up thin layers of different materials with various stiffness. While inheriting the advantages of soft robots -- low weight, affordable manufacturing cost and a fast prototyping process -- a wider range of actuators is available to these mechanisms, while modeling their behavior requires less computational cost.The fundamental question this dissertation strives to answer is how to decode and leverage the effect of material stiffness in these robots. These robots' stiffness is relatively limited due to their slender design, specifically at larger scales. While compliant robots may have inherent advantages such as being safer to work around, this low rigidity makes modeling more complex. This complexity is mostly contained in material deformation since the conventional actuators such as servo motors can be easily leveraged in these robots. As a result, when introduced to real-world environments, efficient modeling and control of these robots are more achievable than conventional soft robots.
Various approaches have been taken to design, model, and control a variety of laminate robot platforms by investigating the effect of material deformation in prototypes while they interact with their working environments. The results obtained show that data-driven approaches such as experimental identification and machine learning techniques are more reliable in modeling and control of these mechanisms. Also, machine learning techniques for training robots in non-ideal experimental setups that encounter the uncertainties of real-world environments can be leveraged to find effective gaits with high performance. Our studies on the effect of stiffness of thin, curved sheets of materials has evolved into introducing a new class of soft elements which we call Soft, Curved, Reconfigurable, Anisotropic Mechanisms (SCRAMs). Like bio-mechanical systems, SCRAMs are capable of re-configuring the stiffness of curved surfaces to enhance their performance and adaptability. Finally, the findings of this thesis show promising opportunities for foldable robots to become an alternative for conventional soft robots since they still offer similar advantages in a fraction of computational expense.

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Date Created
2021

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Evaluation of Machine Learning Algorithms for Modeling Therapist Assistance during Gait Rehabilitation

Description

Robotic assisted devices in gait rehabilitation have not seen penetration into clinical settings proportionate to the developments in this field. A possible reason for this is due to the development and evaluation of these devices from a predominantly engineering perspective.

Robotic assisted devices in gait rehabilitation have not seen penetration into clinical settings proportionate to the developments in this field. A possible reason for this is due to the development and evaluation of these devices from a predominantly engineering perspective. One way to mitigate this effect is to further include the principles of neurophysiology into the development of these systems. To further include these principles, this research proposes a method for grounded evaluation of three machine learning algorithms to gain insight on what modeling approaches are able to both replicate therapist assistance and emulate therapist strategies. The algorithms evaluated in this paper include ordinary least squares regression (OLS), gaussian process regression (GPR) and inverse reinforcement learning (IRL). The results show that grounded evaluation is able to provide evidence to support the algorithms at a higher resolution. Also, it was observed that GPR is likely the most accurate algorithm to replicate therapist assistance and to emulate therapist adaptation strategies.

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Date Created
2021

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A Study on the Use of Extrusion-based Additive Manufacturing for Electrostatic Discharge Compliant Components from PEEK-Carbon Nanotube Composite

Description

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is a unique issue in the electronics industry that can cause failures of electrical components and complete electronic systems. There is an entire industry that is focused on developing ESD compliant tooling using traditional manufacturing methods.

Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) is a unique issue in the electronics industry that can cause failures of electrical components and complete electronic systems. There is an entire industry that is focused on developing ESD compliant tooling using traditional manufacturing methods. This research work evaluates the feasibility to fabricate a PEEK-Carbon Nanotube composite filament for Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) Additive Manufacturing that is ESD compliant. In addition, it demonstrates that the FFF process can be used to print tools with the required accuracy, ESD compliance and mechanical properties necessary for the electronics industry at a low rate production level. Current Additive Manufacturing technology can print high temperature polymers, such as PEEK, with the required mechanical properties but they are not ESD compliant and require post processing to create a product that is. There has been some research conducted using mixed multi-wall and single wall carbon nanotubes in a PEEK polymers, which improves mechanical properties while reducing bulk resistance to the levels required to be ESD compliant. This previous research has been used to develop a PEEK-CNT polymer matrix for the Fused Filament Fabrication additive manufacturing process

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Date Created
2020